Terre Haute schools requested they test only two grade levels using the ISTEP+ this year because of fears that the testing system would not work properly. That request was denied.
Then, Monday and Tuesday, schools across the state, including those in Vigo County, experienced problems and had to suspend the tests.
John Newport, Vigo County School Corporation curriculum coordinator of assessment, says the district thought there might be problems this year after two years of issues.
“Planning through the process, seeing the last two years of problems, and looking at our schools, we had submitted a request to the Department of Education to only test two grade levels per year,” he says.
Vigo County Schools tried to be proactive and had asked the state to postpone the addition of another grade level to their online testing pool for this year. Newport says the school corporation also had concerns about the local Internet connection maintaining the amount of traffic the testing requires.
“We were hoping to relieve the pressure on our local internet system, as well as the states by only doing two grade levels,” Newport explains.
The request for delay was denied and Vigo County suffered problems like many schools around the state. Newport says the it is somewhat frustrating and concerning to have to deal with the current issues when they tried to be proactive this year.
Today, Vigo County is now reporting little, if any problems with ISTEP+ testing after State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz instructed all schools to reduce the number of students testing at anytime by 50 percent.
Newport did give credit to Ritz for understanding the issues schools were facing and extending the deadline for testing to be completed by five days.